Genre: YA, Mystery
Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: 20 September 2016
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
What I Liked:
I finally got around to reading this book! A few my coworkers have been raving about it for the past few months, so I finally got it from the library.
This book is super dark. Since this is YA, I wasn’t expecting the mood and tone of the book to be quite so grim and disturbing. I had to make sure that I was reading a light, fluffy romance before bed after reading this book so my dreams wouldn’t be filled with dissected bodies and murder. Yikes!
The story is interesting, but the characters and relationships are what really stand out. I liked Audrey Rose, but Thomas Cresswell stole my heart. He’s basically a YA version of Sherlock Holmes from the show Sherlock. And Audrey Rose is his Watson. They have very good chemistry, and I they work very well together in both mystery solving and romantic sense.
What I Didn’t:
My biggest issue of this book is that I figured out the mystery pretty early on. At only about 40% of the way through, I actually said to my mom, “I’m pretty sure that Jack the Ripper is X-character. If he isn’t, I’m gonna be angry because I’m wrong, and if I’m right, I’m gonna be angry because it was too easy to figure out!”
I was right. There were a few times that I kinda questioned myself, but I’m remained fairly certain, so the mystery element really is the weakest part of this book.
There were also a few times that Audrey Rose seemed a bit too modern for my taste. I’m all for progressive female characters, especially in settings where you don’t often find them (like Victorian England), but there is a limit to how far any particular character can go, and Audrey Rose at times tipped over the line of believability. I also wished that her name was just Audrey. Why does she have 2 names?
I enjoyed this book. I liked how dark and murky everything was, even if the mystery was a bit too easy to figure out. Audrey Rose was an interesting, progressive heroine stuck in a rigid, Victorian society who wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. I liked her relationships with her uncle/mentor and Thomas Cresswell, another of her uncle’s students. Overall, this was a very good effort by a first time author. I look forward to reading sequels about Audrey Rose and Thomas as they solve more mysteries. The next book apparently has something to do with Dracula…
My Rating: 3.5